Requesting External Peer Review for Addressing Gender-Based Violence and Harassment – Good Practice Note for the Private Sector

Dear Colleagues and Interested Parties:

International Finance Corporation (IFC), CDC Group, and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) are pleased to announce the online consultation with regard to our draft good practice document to help the private sector address gender-based violence and harassment (GBVH). We have extended our previous deadline and invite you to review and provide comments on Addressing Gender-Based Violence and Harassment – Good Practice Note for the Private Sector by January 17, 2020. We welcome comments on the sections of your interest and expertise should you opt not to review the entire document. See instructions for providing comments at the bottom of this message.

Addressing GBVH in the private sector in emerging markets is a new area of work. As such, good practice in this space is only beginning to emerge. However, given the prevalence of GBVH, IFC, CDC Group and EBRD all felt it was necessary to develop this guidance now and continue to share tools and publications as good practice evolves.

As well as general comments on the content of the guidance included in the Good Practice Note (GPN), we are particularly interested in comments on whether the guidance:

  • strikes the right balance between explaining what companies and investors can do to address GBVH without encouraging them to do more than they are able to with limited capacity. We are conscious that the stakes are extremely high for individuals affected by GBVH and that companies and investors with limited understanding of GBVH could cause further harm if they attempt to implement guidance with a very limited understanding of the issue. The risk that poorly implemented guidance could do more harm than good is especially high in resource poor settings where support services may be limited or non-existent. Does the guidance approach this challenge in the right way and are sufficient warnings included in the text?
  • includes sufficient references and information on GBVH perpetrated against children. Although the Good Practice Note has not been commissioned to address this issue specifically, we are keen to identify opportunities to highlight GBVH risks for children and ways in which mitigation efforts and response measures can take children in to account. Please do flag any resources you think the GPN could helpfully signpost readers to in order to address this.

This publication aims to provide practical guidance for the private sector in emerging markets on addressing GBVH in their operations and investments. The draft guidance serves two audiences:

  1. Staff and consultants working for investors and financial intermediaries that provide finance in emerging markets.
  2. Staff and consultants working for small, medium and large private sector companies operating in emerging markets.

The publication does not directly address violence and harassment motivated by factors such as religious hatred or disability discrimination; modern slavery and human trafficking; or violence against children. However, the publication does list additional guidance documents on these topics.

Following public consultation and any necessary revisions, the Good Practice Note will undergo professional copy editing and design. The latter will include a number of changes to the layout of the text and the development of diagrams and tables. There is therefore no need to comment on grammatical inaccuracies, layout or presentation.

When providing comments, please note the following:

  1. indicate the paragraph number, table number and/or appendix title for which your comments are relevant;
  2. provide advice on emerging trends and new approaches where applicable if any;
  3. provide advice on specific regional data/information where relevant;
  4. ensure comments are practical.

Comments received during this time will be taken into consideration and incorporated as appropriate. Unfortunately, we are unable to respond directly to all comments received. We will notify subscribers of the IFC Sustainability mailing list once the final version is available.

Thank you in advance for taking the time to review and provide feedback on the draft Good Practice Note. We look forward to receiving your comments.

For inquiries, please contact:

Disclaimer: The content of this work is a draft shared to the public for comments and open consultation. The material is not a final publication and the findings, interpretations, and conclusions expressed herein do not reflect the views of the Executive Directors of the International Finance Corporation (IFC) or of the World Bank or the governments they represent. The document should be taken only as an opportunity for providing comments, and should not be taken, as legal or business advice, an opinion regarding the appropriateness of any investment, or a solicitation of any type. IFC does not guarantee the accuracy, reliability or completeness of the content included in this work, or for the conclusions or judgments described herein, and accepts no responsibility or liability for any omissions or errors (including, without limitation, typographical errors and technical errors) in the content whatsoever or for reliance thereon. Copying and/or transmitting portions or all of this work without permission may be a violation of applicable law.

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